Colombia | El Placer Carbonic Maceration

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R002: Finca El Placer 

Farm/Producer: Sebastian Ramirez

Region: Colombia, Calarca, Quindio

Process: Carbonic Maceration Honey process

Altitude: 1744 masl

Variety: Pink Bourbon 

Cup Profile: Dried peach and caramelized sugar, with notes of spice and cocoa nibs

Background info: 

El Placer (The Pleasure) is running quite an interesting project headed by Sebastian Ramirez, located in Calarca, Quindio. Sebastian a 4th generation farmer has been running this estate for over a decade and has been constantly pushing innovation. The farm is well equipped with its own microbiology laboratory where the team develops innovative and exotic varieties. 

Sebastian's aim has always been to maximize the flavour potential of all varieties grown and has focused extensively on processing methods, carbonic maceration in particular. When it came to sourcing our first carbonic macerated coffee we could rest assured that Sebastian would deliver a coffee of exceptional quality.

Let's chat about the processing (it's quite extensive)

"The first step of processing is the three-step hand selection:

95% of ripe and 5% of semi-ripe cherries are selected, all by hand. The selection continues with submerging the cherries in water tanks and removing the floaters from the surface. Lastly, the cherries without any visible defects are sorted to guarantee only the best quality ones to undertake the fermentation processes.

This Honey process coffee is fermented twice anaerobically. The first step is to seal the coffee cherries inside 200L plastic cans, filled with water and depleted of oxygen by injecting CO2, this is carbonic maceration. This initial stage can take up to one hundred hours.

The process then includes a longer anaerobic fermentation time in the water tanks during the carbonic maceration: up to 200 hours on the initial carbonic maceration phase before de-pulping, and 280 hours after de-pulping.

Throughout the fermentation, the PH levels and temperature are carefully monitored. Lastly, the coffee is dried on Eldas (patios) for up to 30 days or until it reaches the desired moisture level between 10 -12%. Dried cherries are milled and manually sorted in jute bags to stabilize for a week before being sent to the dry mill."